House Democrats are committed to protecting our democracy and ensuring that all eligible Americans have the right to cast a ballot that is counted. Voter suppression has proliferated over the past decade, and the elimination of a key provision of the Voting Rights Act by the Supreme Court in 2013 in Shelby County v. Holder has cleared the way for the enactment of many insidious obstacles to the ballot box. At the same time, campaigns are unduly impacted by large contributions and expenditures, corporate lobbying undermines the public interest, and our political system is susceptible to nefarious foreign influence.
The House passed the For the People Act of 2019, which expands voter registration and voting access, makes Election Day a federal holiday, bans purging voters from voter rolls, restores the franchise to Americans who have completed sentences for felony convictions, promotes the adoption of paper ballots and ballot audits, ends partisan gerrymandering, protects election systems from cyberattacks, curbs the influence of big money in politics, and strengthens ethics laws.
House Democrats are also working to document voter discrimination throughout the country to determine which jurisdictions should be subject to an updated coverage formula under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires the “preclearance” of changes to election laws in places with a record of discrimination. Preclearance is a vital tool to combat threats to the franchise that should never have been shelved by the Supreme Court, and it must be reinstated pursuant to the Court’s opinion.